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GDB 53.0 Wrap Up: Connor McDavid is a Game Genie, Oilers close out 4-3 win on McCentury night

Where were you when Connor McDavid hit 100 points in 53 games? Final Score: 4-3 Oilers

I know it’s unreasonable to expect that the Oilers win every hockey game they play, but I feel like Thursday’s loss probably could have gone a different way had the start not been historically bad. I mean, if you think about it, there’s a reasonable chance that we won’t ever see four goals against on the first four shots of the game again in our lives. With Kostco complaints out of the way and home-ice advantage locked up before the game even started because Winnipeg lost to the Senators, the only thing left to think about was when and not if Connor McDavid would get to 100 points. So when he opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, I felt like it would be really hard to blame any of us for thinking that he was going to get the job done before this night was over and apparently he felt the same way. Even though the Oilers were unable to add to their early lead before heading into the intermission, it truly felt like they were only one shot away from the floodgates opening because this game was not nearly as close as the score would suggest. Full credit goes to Demko for keeping his team in the mix, but I wondered if it was only a matter of time before his luck would run out.

With two periods to play and the Canucks looking like the best they’d be able to do is hang on for dear life, the Oilers had an excellent opportunity to extend their lead and put this thing to bed early. Yet, despite their slow start, it was the Canucks that kicked off the frame with plenty of energy and desperation, twice clawing their way back into a tie game after scoring a trio of hardworking goals. Even so, this was a night where the Oilers were not going to be denied and they too rattled off three second-period goals that not countered every punch the Canucks threw and maintained their one-goal lead but also to push McDavid up to 100 points in 53 games. I don’t think I’d be the only one to say that the lead was great, but we were all there for the McPoints. And with the way McDavid was flying from the jump, there was nothing the Canucks could have done to avoid what happened, and if I’m being completely honest, the fact that he got the four points he needed made what happened with the score almost secondary. As the third period wore on, I found myself paying more attention to the ridiculous McDavid stats and comparables that were popping up all over Twitter that I almost forgot that there was still a game going on. Thankfully, the boys were able to wrap things up with a quiet finish to not only get the McSundae but also the cherry on top.

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It was another big win but an even bigger one for the captain.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Home Ice Advantage and the Oilers didn’t even have to do anything! You won’t get an airport playing like that, Winnipeg.
  • Connor McDavid opened the scoring less than a minute into the game with a laser beam of a wrister that beat Demko through the five-hole, and the McCentury mark started to feel that much closer. So when he actually got his 4th point of the night and hit 100 points with plenty of time to spare, I honestly started to laugh because what we’re watching is so ridiculous that it almost doesn’t make sense. I mean, four points in a night to get to 100? That’s incredible.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi extended the lead (2-0) after McDavid fed him with a perfect feed to his wheelhouse that he was able to tee off on and catch Demko as he was moving. I thought Puljujarvi had a whale of a game as he was all over the puck and seemed to make smart plays each and every time he was on the ice. Whether it was dishing to Connor or ripping shots or parking his giant carcass in front of the net, Puljuarvi is playing some fantastic hockey right now and it’s going to be extremely valuable if he can keep it rolling into the postseason.
  • Only moments after the Canucks tied the game, Leon Draisaitl restored the Oilers’ lead (3-2) with a powerplay goal from the right circle after James Neal set him up for a one-timer. Not only was Draisaitl’s goal a big one for his team, but it was also his 500th career NHL point which is certainly a special milestone to hit. With less than a minute left in the second period and only one point needed to get to the McCentury, how fitting was it that the 100th point came on a Draisaitl powerplay goal as the dynamic duo hooked up on yet another perfectly executed one-timer.
  • Despite some folks like myself wondering if Koskinen would get another start right away, it was Mike Smith that was back between the pipes and tasked with avoiding a second straight loss. And while I’d say this wasn’t necessarily Smith’s night, I wouldn’t say that he was beaten with any bad goals either. By my eye, all three of Vancouver’s goals came from quality chances that Smith had no chance on and I don’t think the goalie’s final numbers will be fully accurate in describing how things went here. Smith finished the night with 22 saves and a .880 save%.
  • How about another casual two-point night for Darnell Nurse as his monster season continues. As we’ve seen all season, Nurse played a team-high 27:43 in TOI to go along with one shot on goal, two blocks, and two takeaways.
  • I’ve gotta give some love to Adam Larsson for another strong night defensively in his 600th NHL game, and I say that even though I didn’t like his clearing attempt on what turned out to be the second Canucks goal.
  • Ryan McLeod is going to score soon — I can feel it in my bones. The guy had an excellent half-breakaway chance in the first period and I wonder if he almost psyched himself out with how much time he had.
  • It was another successful night on the powerplay as the Oilers were able to convert on two of four chances with the man advantage.
  • Not to be outdone, the penalty killers also deserve their share of praise as they were able to handle all five of Vancouver’s powerplay opportunities, making this an excellent special teams night for our boys.
  • Once again, the Corsi Gords will be pleased to learn that the Oilers outshot the Canucks by a 34-25 margin.
  • I imagine most of you will be as excited to know that the Oilers won 53% of the faceoffs as you were when Connor got his fourth point of the night.
  • When you have the two best players on the planet, the only option is to make a t-shirt that reflects their brilliance. Shine bright, boys. Pick up the Dynamic Duo tee here.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • I wish there were fans in the building to see McDavid do this.
  • JT Miller got the Canucks on the board (2-1) on a clear cut breakaway after he intercepted a cross-ice pass at the blue line by Darnell Nurse and pulled off a nice little dangle on Mike Smith. The finish was admittedly nice, but the pass attempt was not.
  • Travis Boyd tied the game (2-2) after the Oilers were unable to clear the zone despite have possession. Larsson tried to backhand the puck out of danger, but it ended up getting turned around and into the back of the net before we even knew what happened.
  • Less than two minutes after Draisaitl put the Oilers back up by a goal, Tyler Graovac knotted the score up at three apiece with a snipe from the slot that beat Smith up high over the blocker side.
  • I miss you, Evan Bouchard. Don’t worry, we’ll keep your memory alive.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

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Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @Oilersnation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

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